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Southport FC Introduce Social Media Policy

Tue 16th Oct 2012 | IT & Technology

Southport Football Club’s players have been given the opportunity to protect themselves from social media gaffes and dilemmas after being presented with a social media Port policy.

With the recent Ashley Cole “tweets” and other top stars falling foul of the multi-media communications highway the Blue Square Bet Premier club felt it imperative to safeguard their players from getting into situations that they did not recognise the consequences of.

The club put their pioneering Port policy together in consultation with Business Network International colleagues Duncan Reid of Click Scr, John North of Strawberry Human Resources and Andrew Greenyer, who on scripting the media policy took legal advice to ensure the policy was both practical, fair and legally sound.

Director and Press Officer, Haydn Preece said: "After high profile cases across the country relating to sport but specifically soccer we felt the time was right this season for us to adopt a whole club social media policy.

“The club has shown its awareness to the media issues and shared them withour players. Our players were briefed at the start of the season, they signed a copy which we have on file and they have taken a copy home to hopefully remind and refresh them when they engage in any social media communications.

“We did not want to be draconian and state none of our players should involve themselves in social media as that would be in our view an infringement of human rights and in essence not realistic. What we have explained is that we all have a social and community responsibility to our supporters to be professional at all times.

“Some of our players are involved in our Football Conference Community Scheme coaching in schools, at soccer camps and with our junior clubs. The view that you are just blogging to your mates as you would conduct casual conversation are gone, it simply does not stack up.

“Once you press that button your views are there for the world to see and the consequences of any indiscretion can be career threatening. We have seen comments picked up by players elsewhere that have put their contracts in jeopardy.

“We have given our players the guidance and etiquette to avoid social media pitfalls. With our social media policy we have clearly spelt it out and we expect our players to adopt the guidance, the ball is in their court to be responsible. For the players’ sake, and each club’s integrity, I would advise all clubs to adopt a Social Media Policy.

“From the club’s point of view we can demonstrate we have a social media policy and we therefore expect everyone involved at the club to be responsible in all their communications."

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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